As some of you are aware, I’m back from Hong Kong after spending three months working on a web project for one of the world’s leading airlines based there. And now, I have time to review gadgets! One of the first ones that I have been eagerly anticipating to play with was the Telstra Bigpond Ultimate USB Modem. We talked about the BigPond Ultimate USB Modem release in August this year and since then it’s been getting rave reviews from those fortunate enough to get their digits on this device.
What makes the BigPond Ultimate USB Modem so special? Well in a nutshell, it is the world’s first commercial modem to use a new generation of mobile broadband HSPA+ technology which means it sends and receives wireless data using two channels simultaneously. Customers can experience download speeds of 1.1Mbps to 20Mbps across Australian capital city CBDs and 100 regional centres. It’s the latter maximum speed that I was most excited about. Compare this to the 28.8kbps that I grew up with and you’ll see how ridiculously fast this is. Even the 5-7Mbps (still fast) I’m achieving on Telstra’s NextG data network seems dated.
BigPond Ultimate USB Modem Setup
I’m using a 2009 13″ Apple MacBookPro and found setup took around 15 minutes. The extra time was most probably due to the older Telstra wireless broadband software that I had installed. Hope Telstra makes this more seamless but eventually I was able to get the Telstra Bigpond Ultimate USB Modem talking to my MacBookPro.
How Fast Does It Go?
I was slightly disappointed when I executed Speedtest on the Telstra Bigpond Ultimate USB Modem with the data speedometer idling at around 4-5Mbps. This was recorded when I was located in Avondale Heights which is a inner Melbourne suburb around 12km away from the CBD. I wanted the ‘ultimate’ speed of 20Mbps! But alas, the product description did say that this rate was mostly achieved in CBD areas.
So my next test was from one of my favourite CBD cafes : Cafenatics (where they serve great coffee and awesome lunch time roti).
Here’s the result from Speedtest.Net:
Boom! Yes I know it didn’t hit 20Mbps but 17.57Mbps is no figure to sneeze at.
Try performing a Speedtest on your current connection and you’ll see why the Ultimate is called that.
Who is the Telstra Bigpond Ultimate USB Modem for?
Anyone who requires pulling down data fast and mostly located in Australian CBD areas should definitely consider the Bigpond Ultimate USB Modem. The fact that it uses Australia’s premier data network also guarantees that you’ll have a persistent and consistent data connection. Other networks in Australia just can’t offer this degree of quality of service.
How much does the Telstra BigPond Ultimate USB Modem cost?
It’s easy to think that a premium product like the Bigpond Ultimate USB Modem would cost an arm and a leg. The truth is, it doesn’t. You can purchase the BigPond Ultimate USB Modem in conjunction with a range of mobile broadband plans including $0 upfront with a $29.95 plan over 24 months! If I wasn’t able to tether from my iPhone 4 then I’d definitely look at getting one for myself.
Big thumbs up from the Mr.Gadget team for the Telstra BigPond Ultimate USB Modem!
For more pricing details, see www.bigpond.com.